Isn’t it just annoying when you go away on Holiday or spot something and sit there for five minutes wondering what the text even says? Microsoft is looking to make it a little easier on us with a Translator that won’t just do text but can also translate text from images.
While it was available on the Windows Phone since 2010 and managed to provide quick and accurate translations from just looking at a menu. Now the feature is coming to Android (with iOS getting the feature back in February), giving you the ability to quickly load and understand any of the 21 languages the app supports.
The Android app is getting a few other boosters alongside the new feature, with inline translations giving you the ability to hover over text and translate to any of the 50+ online libraries while an additional 30 libraries bring the offline language count to 43 in total.
Compared to Apple and their almost uncrackable iOS, security on Android has always seemed poor. Despite the constant security patches, it seems like Google’s mobile OS is fraught with security flaws with new flaws like Stagefright appearing and reappearing with troubling frequency. Google don’t agree with this image, however, and their second annual Android security report seems to back up their stance that Android is, in fact, quite secure.
The majority of the issues identified with their security came from apps not loaded through the Google Play Store. Between 2014 and 2015, attempts to load malware through the Play Store dropped drastically with only 0.15 percent of users being infected with rogue code from the app platform. When you compare this to the 0.5 percent of all Android users that have been hit with malicious code, it shows an increase in attempts to attack Android devices without going through the Play Store.
Lead engineer of Android Security, Adrian Ludwig, released a few snippets of data to illustrate the lengths Google go to in order to keep Android secure.
Google checks six billion installed apps daily for malware (Potentially Harmful Apps in Google’s parlance).
A total of 400 million devices per day are scanned for network-based and on-device threats.
Android’s security is only set to improve too, with the monthly security updates able to respond to new threats quickly after they emerge. Google are also pushing for device manufacturers to keep up to date with the monthly updates that are automatically rolled out to their Nexus devices.
The full 2015 security report is 48 pages long and can be found on Google’s website.
When it comes to technology we are often told about how quickly it is advancing, both in power and the level that we adapt it to our lifestyles. One such popular activity would be the games we play, going from 8-bit dungeon explorers to giant adventure games across stars and planets in virtual reality, but one game that many will remember is the classic called Counter-Strike 1.6, something you can now play on your phone.
Counter-Strike 1.6 was originally a mod of the original Half-Life game, introducing many to competitive multiplayer gameplay for the first time while others enjoyed the mods that let you turn the battle into a paintball party or even the custom maps like the Simpsons neighbourhood. Alibek Omarov apparently didn’t just want to enjoy that same feeling on his phone but wanted the full experience, original game and all.
Featured on his GitHub account under the handle a1batross, the CS16Client lets you install and play the original game on your phone, servers and all. Got a free minute on the way to work? Why not stop a terrorist bomb threat or see if you’ve still got the skill to perform a 360 no scope.
While controls seem a little complicated and clunky, it shouldn’t be hard to connect one of the many controller adaptors that you can now get for your phone to turn your experience into a full-on classic gaming experience.
Last month, Google made a developer preview version of the upcoming version of their popular mobile operating system, named Android N, available for public download. This release included a number of great new features including split screen functionality and more. Now, a second version of the Android N developer preview has been released for use, which should come as a welcome update for current users of the developer preview as it includes a number of major bug fixes as well as some new functionality too.
Some of the bugs that are addressed in this updated developer preview address issues such as connecting to hidden Wi-Fi networks, pauses during multi window function and over 50 issues that had been reported through the public issue tracker. This doesn’t mean that Android N is ready for everyday use, though, and Google stresses that this is still an unstable preview build meant to allow developers and testers a chance to try out and help improve Android.
On the new features front, this build includes new support for the Vulkan 3D graphics API, launcher shortcuts defined by apps and support for Emoji Unicode 9 support. The addition of Vulkan is aimed entirely at developers and will assist in the development of games and 3D graphics heavy applications while also allowing them to be well optimized for low resource use and battery drain. Launcher shortcuts could make commonly used features in apps even easier to access, giving developers the ability to allow launcher shortcuts to point to a specific point in the app, such as messaging a friend or setting a route to home in a navigation app. Emoji support speaks for itself, but Google is moving away from the generic emoji used in previous Android versions in favour of more human looking designs.
Overall, this update should be a must-have for those already using the previous Android N developer preview, but there aren’t enough new features added in order to give a good reason for more people to adopt it unless some of the existing bugs were their main hang-up. As with the existing preview, this version can be gotten through the Android Beta Program on supported Nexus devices or flash their device manually.
Home security is an ever growing trend as technology gets smaller and better, and at the same time, it has also become a lot for affordable for the everyman. Today I’m taking a look at one of the best options in this category as I’m having D-Link’s DCS-2630L Full HD 180-Degree Wi-Fi camera in my testing area.
Where most home surveillance cams still come with a 720p resolution, the D-Link DCS-2630L adds on top of that and goes for the full 1080p HD experience. While 720p already was a great step up from the old 480p CCTV resolution, it just doesn’t beat the full 1080p experience. The Wi-Fi camera doesn’t just feature a higher than usual resolution, it also has a wider field of view, allowing you to monitor an up to 180-degree wide area. Basic cameras only feature 90 or 120-degree view, which allows the DCS-2630L to monitor a lot more real estate that might prevent you from having to set up multiple cameras. The wide-view feature is also a lot better to look at than a traditional wide view fisheye view that distorts things.
Recording video during daylight is an easy thing, but you’ll also want to monitor what is going on when it is dark. After all, that is the time of day we usually associate with the need for protection. D-Link added night vision capabilities to the DCS-2630L with the help of infrared LEDs. The camera is able to see in the dark at a distance of up to 5 meters (16 ft) with as little as 0 Lux light. The IR LEDs can be turned on manually, but the camera also features a light sensor that determines when the LEDs are needed.
Next to the six infrared LEDs it also features two PIR sensors that detect infrared radiation when a person or animal passes for an enhanced motion detection. And that is another one of this cameras features next to just being able to show and record what is going on. With motion and sound detection, the camera is able to start recording automatically and also push notifications to your Windows, Android, and iOS device to let you know that something is going on.
D-Link didn’t just built-in a high-quality microphone to picks up on loud noises like the breaking of glass and the ability to send notification alerts about this to you, it also features 2-way audio that lets you send audio back. A high-quality speaker lets you respond to what you see using your mobile device.
The Full HD sensor features a 1/3-inch 3-megapixel sensor to deliver images in sharp and rich detail while the camera lens is made of glass for the best possible results. All this coupled with the de-warping technology provides you with a clear and ultra-wide 180º field of view surveillance. The camera comes on a wall mountable metal stand with flexible tilt for the perfect angle. It also allows for 360-degree camera rotation to ensure that your video is perfectly level no matter where you mount it.
It isn’t just an ordinary camera on the Wi-Fi field either and it sports a proper IEEE 802.11ac dual-band connection for reliable connection and streaming. It also features a convenient WPS button for quick and simple connection with the rest of your network infrastructure. Everyone can press a button. Besides the wireless connection, the DCS-2630L also features a micro SD/SDXC card slot with support for up to 128GB memory cards. This is enough for up to a week of continuous clip recordings in 1080p.
A status LED lets you know what your camera’s doing, which is a simple but very useful thing. The whole camera in itself is very power effective and only requires a USB connection, portable battery, or power adapter to run. That also allows for a very flexible placement.
2 PIR Sensors – Enhanced motion detection senses when a person or animal passes for accurate
microSDXC card slot – Record continuous, scheduled, or detection triggered video clips directly to a
microSDCX card up to 128 GB
Unique De-warping technology maximizes the video quality with less distortion to eliminate a fish-eye view
Built-in two-way audio
mydlink app support for iPhone, iPad, Android and Windows phone
Packaging and Content
The D-Link DCS-2630L is a consumer camera and the package is made to be as eye-capturing as the camera catches images. The front displays the camera and usage scenario as well as the product highlights such as 1080p and wide eye lens.
On the rear, you will find more detailed information about the functions and features, all in full colour.
Each of the two sides is full of information too. On one side you find the features listed above the minimum requirements for usage.
On the other side, you’ll find a simple representation of the camera’s easy setup and usage as well as what’s inside the box.
Besides the Wi-Fi camera itself, you also find the Quick Install Card with default information and QR-code for easy setup as well as the quick install guide, a GPL code statement, and an assistance card if you should have trouble.
There’s also an AC/DC adapter included with a plug fitting the region where you bought it. Due to the clever usage of micro-USB, the camera is also easily powered otherwise.
Final Fantasy IX is often regarded as one of the series’ greatest games and became a real showcase of the PlayStation One’s ability to offer deep, enriching gameplay. Of course, it’s usually overshadowed by Final Fantasy VII but this shouldn’t detract from the new skill system and captivating story. Historically, Final Fantasy games have predominately adopted a console focus and very few titles initially released on the PC platform. However, the dramatic rise of mobile gaming and PC encouraged Square Enix to port these games after seeing the possibility of enhance sales.
The latest entry to arrive on Steam is Final Fantasy IX and the company has just released the game’s plug-ins disclosure. Unbelievably, the PC version requires the Android SDK to run as well as the Autobuilder license:
In order to play FINAL FANTASY IX it is necessary to download and install a software installer program and certain third-party plugins. The installer software incorporates certain third-party plug-ins, which are governed by the open source licenses and other provisions ascribed to them below. The application of these licenses is limited strictly only to the plugins to which they are stated expressly to apply:
Android Support Library / Android SDK Terms and Conditions, Apache License 2.0
Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software distributed under the License is distributed on an “AS IS” BASIS, WITHOUT WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF ANY KIND, either express or implied. See the License for the specific language governing permissions and limitations under the License.
As expected due to the game’s age, the system requirements are extremely low:
OS: Vista /7/8/8.1/10
Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo 2GHz or higher
Memory: 2 GB RAM
Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce 8600GTS or ATI Radeon HD4650 or higher
DirectX: Version 9.0c
Storage: 7 GB available space
Sound Card: DirectSound® compatible sound card（DirectX®9.0c or later）
OS: Windows 7/8/8.1/10 (32bit / 64bit)
Processor: Core i5 2520 2.5GHz or better
Memory: 4 GB RAM
DirectX: Version 9.0c
Storage: 20 GB available space
Sound Card: DirectSound® compatible sound card（DirectX®9.0c or later）
Are you looking forward to playing Final Fantasy IX on PC?
BlackBerry has been stumbling around the smartphone market for a couple of profitable years. After the lacklustre BB 10 series failed to garner many customers, the Canadian firmed tried again with an Android-based solution. After that release, the Priv, has arguably failed to gain traction, the firm is hoping to appeal to a more mainstream audience. According to the latest earnings call, BlackBerry will launch two $400ish smartphones within the year.
Unlike the Priv that cost a stately $700, the new phones will be targeted more towards consumers instead of the enterprise. While that Priv hasn’t sold that badly, sales haven’t been enough to make a profit. With a $400 phone, BlackBerry may still be able to keep the same margins, but significantly increase sales and drive revenue. If the new phone doesn’t pan out, CEO John Chen is considering selling the handset division.
BlackBerry faced an uphill struggle with BB10 but with Android, they won’t have to worry as much about the software side of things. While the Priv wasn’t bad hardware, it wasn’t up to the level you would expect of a $700 device. Hopefully with the upcoming phones, BlackBerry can get it right. After all, there are many well selling and very nice $400 Android phones like the Motorola lineup or the Nexus 5/5X.
In the modern world, communication has often been reduced to abbreviations that represent words and a vast collection of emotive images, which is a far cry from the language used by Shakespeare and other famous linguists. Now you can add a little culture to your messaging and find out what the world would have been like if Shakespeare had a smartphone with the latest new keyboard from SwiftKey, ShakeSpeak.
The reason why SwiftKey have decided to release such as niche smartphone keyboard in order to celebrate the upcoming 400th anniversary of the Bard’s death on the 23rd of April. ShakeSpeak makes use of the powerful predictive tools that have made SwiftKey keyboards popular in order to transform your everyday messages into something that sounds like it came straight out of the 17th century England. During the analysis of his works, a number of trademark words, phrases and expressions were identified, which will appear when you make use of this keyboard.
This may simply be a tribute project, but it is interesting to see how modern technologies such as machine learning and text prediction can act when trained on more old-fashioned linguistic styles. If you fancy sounding more like you belong 4 centuries back, ShakeSpeak can be found on the Play Store.
Hauwei might not be the most recognizable smartphone company in western territories due to the likes of Apple, Samsung, LG and other suspects dominating the media headlines. However, Hauwei’s user adoption in China has expanded at an exponential rate and the Honor 7’s launch helped gain a strong foothold in European markets. This is because of superb specification, aluminium unibody design and fingerprint recognition sensor. Hauwei managed to offer a legitimate alternative to the OnePlus 2 and even set up a new vMall store to assist customers with the included 3 year handset guarantee.
The company’s next flagship line is the P9 and P9 Plus featuring a custom Kirin 955 64-Bit octa-core processor (4x 2.5GHz A72 + 4x 1.8GHz A53). The P9 also utilizes a 3000mAh battery, 5.2-inch 1920×1080 IPS display with a pixel density of 423ppi and a choice between 32GB ROM, 3GB RAM or 64GB ROM, 4GB RAM. The P9 Plus has a larger 3400mAh battery and 5.5-inch AMOLED display similar to the ones used on high-end Samsung devices although the resolution remains the same. As a result, the Plus model has a lower pixel density rate of 401ppi.
Both devices will run Android Marshmallow 6.0.1 and the company’s EMUI 4.1 interface. This could be the latest drawback of the P9 and P9 Plus because it’s very different from the vanilla version of Android. Hauwei have partnered with legendary German optics company, Leica to include dual 12-megapixel rear cameras (mono + RGB) and an 8-megapixel front camera. The P9 Plus variant’s front camera also has autofocus. This is the first time Leica has offered their remarkable optics technology on any smartphone and I’m fascinated to see the results. Potentially, this could allow for the best image quality from any handset on the market.
Another incredible feature revolves around the device’s slim profile. The P9 is a mere 6.95mm thick and has a slimmer design than the iPhone 6s and Samsung Galaxy S7. In terms of pricing, the P9 will cost 599 Euros for the 3GB RAM, 32GB ROM model and 649 Euros for the 4GB RAM , 64GB ROM handset. The P9 Plus is set to launch at 749 Euros and both handsets should be available on 20th May.
The current smartphone sector is extremely competitive and it’s a huge challenge to produce something which has widespread mass market appeal. At the higher end, Samsung and Apple remain the dominant force but there is competition from other leading manufacturers. The LG G4 and its predecessor received superb user reviews but didn’t really translate into the sales numbers the company hoped for. On another note, the advent of cheap Chinese handsets offer superb value for users on a budget. Furthermore, many consumers are content with their existing model and see no reason to upgrade.
Despite Blackberry’s strong history in the mobile market, they’ve struggled to adapt and remain relevant due to the rise of other manufacturers. Part of this is down to their own custom operating system which failed to attract app developers and resulted in a low adoption rate. As a result, many developers believe it’s not a worthwhile financial investment to create apps with such a low return. This also applies to Windows phone models. Eventually, Blackberry realized the dominance of Android and iOS and decided to launch a brand new phone without the Blackberry operating system.
The ‘Priv’ is Blackberry’s first high-end Android device with a concealed keyboard. This is quite a novel idea given the popularity of touch screen handsets. Of course, the Priv offers great flexibility to use the touch screen and a membrane keyboard. This makes it easier to compile e-mails or write large documents. Blackberry’s long-term success in the smartphone market heavily relied on the Priv’s performance and initial sales had been “quite positive”. However, figures released by the company last week showed further decline in their hardware division. This prompted the company’s CEO to suggest Blackberry might pull out of the smartphone sector altogether if they fail to make a profit by September.
To react to this worrying situation, Blackberry have instigated a permanent price cut on the Priv across various regions. For example, in the US, it’s been reduced from $699.99 to $649.99. UK buyers will experience a price cut from £559 to £529 which Europeans can now acquire the handset for €729. In Canada, for some bizarre reason, the price remains unchanged.
It has been a little over half a year since Thecus introduced the support for Orbweb.me on their WSS-based NAS’. That was so successful that the support now has been extended to all of Thecus’ Linux-based NAS’ too. Whether you run the older Thecus OS 5.0 or the recently released Thecus OS 7.0, you can now have easy access to your NAS and everything that’s connected to it from anywhere.
Some might say, I already have access to it all from everywhere, that’s the point of a NAS. But the ease of which you have access to it, how easy it is to use, and the security behind it isn’t always the same. The Orbweb.me application brings a new remote access experience to Thecus Linux NAS from any web browsers such as Chrome, Internet Explorer or Firefox as well as mobile devices powered by iOS and Android.
Orbweb.me is a P2P (Peer To Peer) module that allows users to easily view, stream and manage files in their NAS anytime and anywhere. Best of all, you don’t need to know your IP address and it works well over shared connections too.
Orbweb4.0 offers several features including webcam monitoring with timeline view and snapshot. All these features further increase Thecus NAS functionality. The Orbweb.me application is also available to download for any windows PC in its basic version, but because of the partnership between Thecus and Orbweb, Thecus NAS include a subscription for the Orbweb.me Ultimate Version that otherwise require an annual $69.99 subscription fee.
Thecus NAS uses an arsenal of security protocols and features to maintain user´s data safety. To prevent data from coming under attack when data is being transferred, Orbweb.me uses AES 256-bit encryption to secure all data traffic.
Google’s latest patch for their Android operating system is one of the biggest security patches ever released for the OS. This monthly security update covers 39 vulnerabilities that had been found, of which 15 were of the highest rating, critical, which mean they could be used to lead to total compromisation of a device. This patch, which is part of the latest firmware image for Android devices rolled out to Nexus devices starting on Monday, with the update to be added to the Android Open Source Project during the next 24 hours.
One of the vulnerabilities that were included in this patch is one that Google was alerted to just two weeks ago, which has already been employed by a publicly available rooting application. With the tracking tag of CVE-2015-1805, this flaw was originally in the Linux kernel until April 2014, but until recently it wasn’t known that Android was also affected.
As many as nine critical remote code execution flaws were patched in Android’s media codec, media server, and Stagefright library. Of these, five were rated as high impact, including one privilege escalation vulnerability and four information disclosure issues. Critical flaws were also patched in the Android kernel, the Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol client, Qualcomm Performance module and the Qualcomm RF modules.
Aside from CVE-2015-1805’s use in a rooting application, there is no known exploitation of the other vulnerabilities fixed in this patch according to a security advisory from Google. As a result of the large number of high-impact and critical flaws fixed in this patch, it is highly recommended that any updates to Android 6 offered by manufacturers are installed before attacks that make use of them are released into the wild.
It was recently revealed that the contract to create US Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) randomizer app – which decides which pre-check line travellers should join prior to a flight with a giant left or right arrow on an iPad screen – cost an absurd $1.4 million.
$1.4m for this:
In an effort to expose the inordinate cost of the randomizer, Android coder Chris Pacia created his own version of the app. In 10 minutes, at an estimated labour cost of around $10:
The cost of the app was revealed via a freedom of information (FOI) request made by coder Kevin Burke. He sent the TSA the following e-mail:
“I request that a copy of documents concerning the following subject matter be provided to me:
The RFP (Request for Proposal) issued by the TSA for designing and implementing the “TSA Randomizer” iPad application, described here and currently in use by TSA agents at security checkpoints at many airports, including Terminal 2 at Oakland International Airport.
Details of any submitted bids from contractors or internal government agencies to design and construct the “TSA Randomizer” iPad app.
The final signed contract between the TSA and a contractor to implement the “TSA Randomizer” iPad app.”
At Build 2016, Microsoft has announced quite a few interesting new features for Windows 10, one of which is related to Android notifications. That’s right, it looks like Microsoft is making an effort to bring Android and Windows 10 together by allowing users to receive Android notifications on Windows 10 PCs. The feature will be based on Microsoft’s Cortana app for Android, and as long as users will have this app installed on their phones, Cortana will store all of the device’s notifications in the cloud and will send them to the user’s Windows 10 devices, including PCs, laptops or tablets.
The best part is that you’ll be able to respond to these notifications directly from your PC, and you will also be able to dismiss them easily. Obviously, those who are using Windows 10 Mobile devices will also be able to enjoy this feature, but those with iOS-based gadgets will not, as Microsoft simply doesn’t have enough access to iOS notifications. Even though we don’t know exactly when this new feature will be implemented, it’s entirely possible that it will be a part of the operating system’s Anniversary Update. If that’s the case, Microsoft will likely update the Cortana Android app soon.
Will you be activating Android notifications on Windows 10?
Microsoft recently brought out Xamarin, software based on letting people create programs using C# and .NET operating systems which can then be ported to both iOS and Android. This meant that using the Microsoft based languages you could develop software for a variety of phones. It’s now been revealed that if you are interested in using the software, all you will need is Visual Studio.
With this announcement you can enjoy Xamarin for free as part of Visual studio, and not just any Visual studio but every single version of the development software. With Visual studio offering a free community edition you could soon find the development tools available as part of the free suite of tools, with no restrictions either.
With the original releases of Xamarin featuring a restriction on the free version of the software, limiting just how large the software you created could be before requiring a paid license. Enterprise-orientated features of Xamarin will be restricted to Visual Studio Enterprise subscription users.
If you were looking at using it for OS X or iOS development you’ll need to have access to an OS X machine. In another step for Microsoft, the Xamarin SDK will be made open source and released on Github for all to see and use, including the Xamarin Forms library for creating quick and easy user interfaces.
Google is known for many things, from the search engine that started it all to the chrome web browser that so many uses these days. One of the things Google is known for is the Android mobile operating system, something that could Oracle want a piece of in a copyright trial against Google.
The copyright claim refers to several infringements that Google made as part of 37 java API’s that were used in the creation of the Android operating system. In total, the damages Oracle are seeking come to $9.3 billion, an absolutely staggering figure that seems to dwarf even what Google made in the last quarter ($4.9 billion).
Previously the largest copyright verdict stood at $1.3 billion in a case that Oracle won against SAP in 2010. The value of $9.3 billion was figured out by using “a weighted average analysis of what Google pays to others for the contribution of their non-Android mobile platforms in connection with generating search advertising revenue”.
When it comes to code and copyright the law is a little indecisive. Some say that code can be copyrighted and protected under law, some say it can’t be. This case should set an interesting precedent, with it being the largest intellectual property verdict in history.
Facebook let you send money to friends through the Facebook Messenger app at the moment, but you could end up being able to spend money in the messenger app as well with some news that the messenger could soon have in-store purchases.
The new feature would be included in a variety of updates and new features that could soon be making their way to the Messenger app. As a result details are scarce, but from what we can gather Facebook’s app would let you pay for goods in person, meaning it would offer the same mobile payments that Android, Apple and Samsung currently offer.
Alongside the payment feature, there is a reference to “secret conversations”, ending unfortunately at just a reference. Initial speculation states this could be a way to hide conversations within the app or even a higher form of encryption that rival apps like WhatsApp offer. The latter would make sense given the current global focus on information security and privacy.
With code further referencing syncing calendars and selective streaming of news feed statuses to groups of friends, the ability to organise and control who sees what could see the app become a go-to for organising your day-to-day life. With no official word yet we have to take these with a pinch of salt, but the payment sending ability was hinted at in a similar fashion months before Facebook officially announced it.
Would you store your payment details on Facebook? How about organising your everyday life with Facebook’s calendars?
The days of needing to go visit and arcade to play video games have long since past, you don’t even need to be at home in front of your TV thanks to mobile gaming consoles like the 3Ds and PS Vita. The most common platform to play games on those is the very same thing you have in your pocket, your smartphone. With this in mind, it looks like Sony is looking to make mobile games in order to benefit from the new market.
“ForwardWorks will leverage the intellectual property of the numerous PlayStation dedicated software titles and its gaming characters as well as the knowledge and know-how of gaming development expertise which was acquired over the years with PlayStation business to provide gaming application optimized for smart devices including smartphones to users in Japan and Asia”
So you could soon be seeing Uncharted’s Nathan Drake and Killzone Helghast storming your phone screen as you sit waiting for a bus or a friend at the cinema. Are you excited by this news? Do you play games on your phone and if so which franchise from Sony would you be excited to join the mobile games catalogue?
QNAP’s newest server, the TDS-16489U, is an amazing one that sets itself apart from the rest in so many ways. I want one so badly even though I have absolutely no need for this kind of power. This must be how a normal person feels when they see a Bugatti Veyron. But let us get back to the new QNAP dual server.
The TDS-16489U is a powerful dual server that’s both an application server and storage server baked into on chassis for simplicity and effectiveness. It is powered by two Intel Xeon E5 processors with 4, 6, or 8 cores each while supporting up to 1TB DDR4 2133 MHz memory with its 16 DIMM slots. These are already some impressive specs, but this is just where the fun begins.
The dual server has 16 front-accessible drive bays for 3.5-inch storage drives as well four rear-facing 2.5-inch drive bays for SSD cache. Should this not be enough, then you can expand that further by use of NVMe based PCI-Express SSDs too. The system has three SAS 12 Gb/s controllers built-in to couple it all together.
There are just as many connection options as there are storage options in the TDS-16489U. It comes with two normal Gigabit Ethernet ports as well as four SFP+ 10Gbps ports powered by an Intel XL710. Should that not be enough, then you can use the PCI-Express slots to expand with further NICs of your choice. The system supports the use of 40 Gbps cards too. It also comes with a dedicated IPMI connection besides the normal networking. The PCI-Express x16 Gen.3 slots can also be used with AMD R7 or R9 graphics cards for GPU passthrough to virtualization applications. A true one-device solution for applications, storage, and virtualization.
The TDS-16489U combines outstanding virtualization and storage technologies as an all-around dual server. With Virtualization Station and Container Station, computation and data from the guest OS and apps can be directly stored on the TDS-16489U through the internal 12Gb/s SAS interface. Coupled with Double-Take Availability to provide comprehensive high availability and disaster recovery, backup virtual machines can support failover for the primary systems on the TDS-16489U whenever needed to enable data protection and continuous services. QNAP Virtualization Station is a virtualization platform based on KVM (Kernel Virtual Machine) infrastructure. By sharing the Linux kernel, GPU passthrough, virtual switches, VM import/export, snapshot, backup & restoration, SSD cache acceleration and tiered storage.
“Software frameworks for Big Data management and analysis like Apache Hadoop or Apache Spark can be easily operated on the TDS-16489U using virtual machines or containerized apps, and with Qtier Technology for Auto Tiering the TDS-16489U empowers Big Data computing and provides efficient storage in one box to help businesses gain further insights, opportunities and values,” said David Tsao, Product Manager of QNAP.
With all the above, we shouldn’t forget that it still also runs QNAP’s QTS 4.2 operating system that provides everything you know and love from that. Included is the comprehensive virtualization applications that we’ve also seen on our consumer models, but this is where you truly can take advantage of what QNAP created and run multiple Windows, Linux, Unix, and Android-based virtual machines on your NAS. All the backup solutions and failover, from local to other NAS or the cloud. You can do it all. Share files to basically any device anywhere is made as easy as possible.
Should you still not have enough storage in this impressive unit, then you can expand with up to 8 of the QNAP enclosures and reach a seriously impressive 1152 TB raw storage capacity controlled by this single 3U server unit. The CPU power, dual system capabilities, virtualization options and impressive storage option will let you deploy an impressive system with a very tiny size and total cost of ownership compared to traditional setups.
16-bay, 3U rackmount unit
2 x Intel Xeon E5-2600 v3 Family processor (with 4-core, 6-core and 8-core configurations)
64GB~1TB DDR4 2133MHz RDIMM/LRDIMM RAM (16 DIMM)
4 x SFP+ 10GbE ports
hot-swappable 16 x 3.5″ SAS (12Gbps/6Gbps)/SATA (6Gbps/3Gbps) HDD or 2.5″ SAS/SATA SSD, and 4 x
2.5″ SAS (12Gbps) SSD or SAS/SATA (6Gbps/3Gbps) SSD;
While most efforts are mired deep in the Uncanny Valley, roboticists remain determined to create lifelike human automatons. Sophia, the latest creation from Hanson Robotics, brings us one step closer to creating humanoid robots.
Sophia’s development team was led by Dr. David Hanson, who based the feminine android on an amalgam of his wife and Audrey Hepburn. Her skin is made from a unique silicon-based material and, thanks to the machinery in her artificial head, can replicate around 62 different facial expressions. If you ask Sophia, she will tell you that she was “born” on 19th April, 2015, the date of her activation.
“Our goal is that she will be as conscious, creative and capable as any human,” Hanson told CNBC. “We are designing these robots to serve in health care, therapy, education and customer service applications.”
“The artificial intelligence will evolve to the point where they will truly be our friends,” he added. “Not in ways that dehumanize us, but in ways the rehumanize us, that decrease the trend of the distance between people and instead connect us with people as well as with robots.”
Friends, unless instructed to destroy humanity, of course – a task to which Sophia gleefully agrees:
OK, so Sophia might not be the harbinger of our Judgement Day, but she is sure to achieve fame as the ultimate strange robot:
The Metaphor exploit uses a set of back-and-forth communications that allow attackers to probe the defenses of a target device before attempting the compromise. When a victim visits a website that has a malicious MPEG-4 file embedded in it, it will cause Android’s built-in media server to crash, and send data on the device’s hardware to the attacker, it will then send another video file, capture additional data and finally deliver a video file that is able to compromise the device. The procedure may seem long and complicated, but in reality, Metaphor was found to be able to break into most devices within 20 seconds. Unfortunately for fans of stock Android, the attack was found to be most effectual on Nexus 5 devices running their stock firmware, but the customized versions of Android found on phones from HTC, LG and Samsung are not safe.
While this attack may pose a threat to the 275 million Android phones running versions 2.2 all the way to 5.1, devices that are running the most up-to-date version, 6.0 Marshmallow are safe. Additionally, the attack needs to be tailored to a specific set of Android hardware, so it is likely that only those running the most popular devices would be targeted for the attack, as well as many of them having already received patches specifically to defend against Stagefright. As a result, those with older Android devices may want to be careful or think about a new handset, lest they remain vulnerable to this exploit if it enters the wild.
The concept of immortality might seem like something out of a science-fiction film right now, and it definitely sounds impossible to achieve for humans, as we have serious biological limitations working against us. However, a Russian billionaire named Dmitry Itskov wants to achieve immortality through technological means rather than biological ones, as he aims to transfer human consciousness into robotic bodies. Remember the movie Transcendence? Well, the main character played by Johnny Depp managed to transfer his consciousness into a computer, and while things actually got a bit out of hand after that, Dmitry’s idea is somewhat similar.
The difference is that he actually wants to allow humans to bypass their limitations regarding age, diseases and disabilities by living on as androids. The billionaire is confident that he’ll be able to achieve his goals in the next 30 years through the 2045 Strategic Social Initiative, which he founded in 2011. The initiative is working on developing a technology that would transfer an individual’s personality to an advanced non-biological body that could live for many years, potentially even forever.In order to achieve its goals, the project will need experts in fields such as anthropomorphic robotics, neural interfaces and artificial organs, but as long as funding will not be an issue, I’m sure that plenty of scientists will be able to offer their precious input. For now, the project’s leaders plan to create cheap android avatars that could be controlled by people remotely in order to perform dangerous tasks or rescue operations. The 2045 Initiative has
In order to achieve its goals, the project will need experts in fields such as anthropomorphic robotics, neural interfaces and artificial organs, but as long as funding will not be an issue, I’m sure that plenty of scientists will be able to offer their precious input. For now, the project’s leaders plan to create cheap android avatars that could be controlled by people remotely in order to perform dangerous tasks or rescue operations. The 2045 Initiative has stated the following regarding its plans for the future:
“The main goals of the 2045 Initiative: the creation and realization of a new strategy for the development of humanity which meets global civilization challenges; the creation of optimal conditions promoting the spiritual enlightenment of humanity; and the realization of a new futuristic reality based on 5 principles: high spirituality, high culture, high ethics, high science and high technologies”
In a move surprising many, today Google revealed they would be unveiling Android N to the public very, very early as a developer preview. This Android preview build is even easier to install on devices than ever before too, with supported devices allowing users to opt-in to the new Android Beta Program that would allow them to install the Android N preview like a regular update, and receive iterative updates via OTA. Currently, devices supported by the Android Beta Program include the Nexus 6, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Nexus Player, Nexus 9, and Pixel C, with Android N also available on the official Android emulator.
While this brand new build of Android touts an array of new features, the most attractive being the new multi-window mode, allowing users to take better advantage of the screen real-estate that modern devices possess. The function works in both portrait and landscape screen orientations, as well as providing an array of options as to how multi-windows should be handled, including the choice of a TV-like picture-in-picture mode aimed at use with video apps.
Other additions to Android in this version include direct reply notifications, allowing users to respond to messages conveniently from the notification, and the option for all notifications from a single app to be bundled together and viewed individually using gestures. Also included is improved efficiency through a new version of Marshmallow Doze to save battery and numerous tweaks behind the scenes to optimize memory usage and the speed of background processes. Developers will also be able to make use of new Java 8 features from Android N onwards.
This is still a very early build of Android N, so it is obviously not advisable to use this on an everyday device, with Google releasing it so early in order to collect developer feedback earlier than usual and allow for an easier handoff of the full version to device manufacturers by summer. Hopefully, these moves by Google will result in an even better version of Android than ever.
When you invest in a wireless network repeater in order to increase your range and cover dead spots in your home, you can either go for a run-of-the-mill unit that provides you with the basic functionality or you can go all out and get a device like ASUS’ RP-AC56 wireless dual-band AC1200 range extender and access point. The ASUS RP-AC56 is anything but ordinary and today I’ll take a closer look at everything this little device has to offer.
The ASUS RP-AC56 can extend your existing 802.11ac dual-band Wi-Fi network with speeds up to 1167 Mbps and thanks to its two external antennas it will have a great ability to enhance Wi-Fi signal coverage and boost your Wi-Fi everywhere. But it does a lot more than that, it also comes with a Gigabit Ethernet LAN port for even more connectivity as well as a 3.5mm audio jack for music streaming.
The dual-band repeater supports both the legacy 2.4GHz band and the newer 5GHz band for AC1200 speeds. The two external antennas support MIMO for the best connection even when multiple devices use it at the same time. With speeds up to 867 Mbps on the 5GHz band you can get close to what a wire connection has to offer, at least with the proper signal strength and isn’t that just the reason that we want a device such as the RP-AC56.
ASUS made sure that the setup is as easy as it can be, all it takes is a push of a button thanks the easy WPS setup. Hit the button on your router and then on the repeater, wait for a little bit, and the connection will be established. And that really is all you need to do, but you can do more. The LEDs on the front don’t just show which network band is being used, they also show the signal strength in three steps (Red, Yellow, Green) which in return allows you to find the perfect position for maximum coverage.
As previously mentioned, the RP-AS56 comes with a convenient Gigabit Ethernet LAN port built-in and the function of it depends on the usage of the RP-AC56. The flexibly designed device can work as a normal repeater, but it can also work as a wireless access point or as a media bridge. In access point mode it can be connected to any wired network and create a personal Wi-Fi hotspot. In media bridge mode it can be connected to any Ethernet-compatible device to give it Wi-Fi capability where it didn’t before.
The LAN port can also be used for easy access to the web-based configuration menu without the need for any driver disc or application, but it isn’t something that is needed. You can naturally also set it up wirelessly from devices such as your tablet or smartphone.
You can also connect speakers directly to the RP-AC56 wireless repeater and stream your favorite music direct from any mobile device that has the ASUS AiPlayer app installed. It is compatible with a wide range of multimedia formats and delivers a smooth and effortless streaming experience. The AiPlayer app is available from the App Store and Google Play and it also works for streaming without extra software when used from a Mac and iOS device.
Additionally, the RP-AC56 also supports ASUS’ ExpressWay feature that uses the dual-band capabilities to create an efficient connection with improved reliability. In normal mode, the repeater uses the two bands simultaneously for connecting to devices for the widest compatibility. ExpressWay can dedicate one band for connecting to the router and the other band for connecting to the device as long as one of them supports the 5GHz band. It also features the hassle-free Roaming Assist technology. With this enabled, you never have to switch connections manually between RP-AC56 and your ASUS router as you move around the home. Your device will connect automatically to the strongest Wi-Fi signal whether it’s from the router or the repeater.
Extend your existing 802.11ac dual-band Wi-Fi network with speeds up to 1167 Mbps.
Two external antennas enhance Wi-Fi signal coverage and boost your Wi-Fi everywhere.
Quick and secure setup with just a press of the WPS button.
Smart LED signal indicator helps you find the best location for optimum Wi-Fi performance.
Rotating mains plug for flexible positioning in any power socket. (Not in all regions)
ASUS AiPlayer app for streaming music, with multi-protocol support.
ASUS ExpressWay uses full-speed device connections to boost performance.
Roaming Assist helps you to get a stable connection everywhere in the home or office.
Packaging and Accessories
The ASUS RP-AC56 comes in a great looking retail box that shows how the device looks on the front where it also shows the main features and highlights the Android and iOS support.
The rear of the box explains what the device does and how you can utilize it. It also showcases the AiPlayer for wireless streaming and more details on the features. Overall it’s a great box where you shouldn’t be left with any questions as to what the device you’re holding in your hands can do.
Inside the box, we find a quick start guide and ASUS VIP Member Warranty Notice in multiple languages as well as a 3.5mm audio cable to connect the repeater to an amplifier or speaker set.
In today’s review, I am taking a look at a NAS that comes with a twist that we previously haven’t seen out-of-the-box. I’m talking about QNAP’s TAS-268 NAS which is a 2-bay hybrid NAS that runs both QNAP’s QTS and Android at the same time. The TAS-268 doesn’t just have a twist in the operating system, the physical form also takes a different approach than most NAS on the market.
At the core, the QNAP TAS-268 is a normal NAS with the function that you would expect from such a unit. It doesn’t come with the most power processor, but in return, it also comes with a low price tag despite all the functionality. It is built around an ARM 1.1 GHz dual-core processor and comes with 2GB DDR3 memory. It also features an onboard 4GB flash memory to be used by the Android system. While this doesn’t sound like much, it should be plenty for this device’s functions.
Besides this 2-bay unit, QNAP also released a 1-bay unit with the only difference being the number of drives you can install. But it is the 2-bay unit that we’re looking at today and it supports RAID 0, RAID 1, JBOD, and single disk setup with two 3.5-inch hard disk drives. There are plenty of external connection options on the TAS-268 with one Gigabit Ethernet RJ45 port, four USB 2.0 ports on the rear and one USB 3.0 port on the front.
The front also features an SD card slot for easy and portable storage connection just as you’re used to from your Android phone or tablet – just much easier. You don’t need to remove any covers and battery as it is the case with many phones, instead, you have the SD slot right at the front of the device where you need it.
To complete the convenience experience, QNAP also added the one-touch copy button which allows just what the name promised, copy the content from the front USB port with a single press of the button. How the button shall react can be changed in the QTS system and it is capable of copy operations in both directions, both to and from the USB drives.
With a NAS like this that supports Android, we also need an HDMI port in order to connect it to our monitor or TV and the TAS-2688 also features this on the rear. It is accompanied by four USB 2.0 ports that come in handy for keyboard, mouse, and game controller connection in order to take even better advantage of the Android platform and all the available apps. You can also control the system through the use of the included IR remote control. The TS-268 supports HD and 4K H.265 / H.264 file formats, 4K H.264 with up to 15 frames per second and 4K H.265 with up to 30 frames per second.
Shouldn’t you want to connect the device via HDMI or maybe you just want to get your stored and linked media files onto more devices then you can take advantage of the common DLNA streaming that QNAP also supports. Consoles, Smart TVs, Mini-PCs and much more support this and it is probably the easiest method of streaming content.
Google Play also provides various media apps including YouTube, TED, Twitch and other video apps to be used directly on the NAS. You can install and stream movies, cartoons, TV series, news, and sports at any time in order to enrich your entertainment level.
QNAP introduced their myQNAPcloud system quite a while ago by now and naturally the TAS-268 also supports this. It isn’t just a simple and effective way to set up your new NAS, it also allows you to connect to the finished setup much quicker and easier. By acting as a simplified and locked-in dynamic DNS system it will allow you to easily connect to your NAS, securely, from anywhere in the world and any device as long as you and the NAS both have internet connectivity.
With that in mind, it is incredibly easy to create you own personal cloud system where you don’t have to rely on commercial or free options that thousands of other people use. Keep your files at home where you know who has access and who doesn’t. It is a breeze to sync files to the NAS via QNAP’s own Qsync as well as the Cloud Drive Sync app from the QTS app center that can sync files with Google Drive and Dropbox.
Both real-time and scheduled backups on Windows systems as well as with Time Machine on Mac OS systems is easily taken care of with QNAP’s NetBak replicator and it also features disaster recovery solutions including RTRR, rsync, and cloud storage backup (Dropbox and Google Drive) are also included. So all the bases are covered.
As previously mentioned, you naturally also get the ordinary NAS cross-platform file sharing capabilities from a centralized data storage. Whether you use Linux, Unix, Windows, or Mac OS, your connection is covered. And with the use of apps you get the same connectivity on your Windows Mobile, Android, or iOS system.
So far I have mostly been talking about the software functionality, but that’s just one of the great aspects on this NAS. The design is quite a bit different than we are used with a vertical unit rather than a horizontal oriented. This saves space on the desk with a smaller footprint which can be a vital factor near your entertainment system and similar likely placement scenarios.
The TAS-28 is also a very light unit due to a simple and clever design. Even better, the entire NAS can be set up completely tool-less for your convenience. There is a single thumbscrew at the bottom with which you can open up the chassis and the drive are mounted tool-less too with the included adapters.
Despite having a unique outer design, a lot of the internal design is something that reminds us of previous 2-bay NAS units – just improved with the tool-less drive mounting options and vertical instead of horizontal.
With all this talk about Android, we shouldn’t forget about the base QTS operating system. It provides a web-based user interface to help you easily manage files on the TAS-268. You can install various apps based on your needs to fulfill tasks like storage, backup, management and multimedia applications. File Station allows you to upload, download and manage files anywhere with a web browser. All of your photos, music and videos can be indexed by the built-in Media Library, and easily managed and shared with the Photo Station, Music Station and Video Station. The energy-saving Download Station is your 24/7 download center, allowing you to quickly download files to enrich your collection.
Android and QTS operating system
Organize & manage files and backup tasks in one centralized location
Synchronize files between computers, laptops, and mobile devices
Remotely access your files securely from your personal cloud
Stream your multimedia library via DLNA to other devices and your TV
Enjoy direct media playback via HDMI with HD videos and photos
Compact and streamlined chassis ideal for a desktop or living room environment
Packaging and Accessories
The TAS-268 comes in a simple white box with a representation of the NAS unit as well as the feature highlights.
The rear of the box contains some more information as to what’s so special about this NAS, but it’s kept short.
Opening up the box and we find a brand new NAS that is well protected with self-adhesive plastic film – you know the kind we all love to peel off once we get a new gadget.
Besides the NAS itself, there is a quick installation guide to help you get started quickly, a power supply brick and power cord fitting the region you bought it in as well as an RJ45 LAN cable.
There’s also a small remote control included that is about 3 inches long. Shown below are also the four HDD mounting brackets that simply snap into the drive and hold it in place.
WhatsApp is a cross-platform messaging client which allows users to exchange text messages, images, video content, location details and audio files. As of February 2016, WhatsApp has a user base of up to one billion which makes it the most popular messaging application in the world! Back in February 2014, Facebook acquired the company for an estimated $19.3 billion and clearly sees the application growing at an impressive rate. Recently, Facebook made an announcement regarding its new focus on the latest mobile operating systems to provide a better user experience. The statement reads:
“When we started WhatsApp in 2009, people’s use of mobile devices looked very different from today,”.
“The Apple App Store was only a few months old. About 70 percent of smartphones sold at the time had operating systems offered by BlackBerry and Nokia. Mobile operating systems offered by Google, Apple and Microsoft – which account for 99.5 percent of sales today – were on less than 25 percent of mobile devices sold at the time. As we look ahead to our next seven years, we want to focus our efforts on the mobile platforms the vast majority of people use.”
“While these mobile devices have been an important part of our story, they don’t offer the kind of capabilities we need to expand our app’s features in the future,”
“This was a tough decision for us to make, but the right one in order to give people better ways to keep in touch with friends, family, and loved ones using WhatsApp.”
By the end of 2016, WhatsApp will no longer be supported on:
Blackberry, including Blackberry 10
Nokia Symbian S60
Android 2.1 and Android 2.2
Windows Phone 7
This makes sense because Blackberry’s current smart phone position is very weak, and they are trying to encourage handset sales via the Android operating system. On another note, when WhatsApp was first introduced, around 70 percent of smartphones utilized operating systems by Blackberry and Nokia. In today’s market, iOS and Android account for 99.5 percent of sales. This demonstrates the dramatic shift, and struggles faced by anyone trying to gain a foothold in the smart phone sector.
People love their apps, from playing a quick game to doing your shopping while on the move or at work we all have them. Apps are designed to make your life easier, but sometimes things come along that make them more complicated. Apps are just like every other piece of software and with them come security risks, with companies like VTech finding out how bad a hack can be for their reputation and customers. Net giant Baidu has recently found this out as well as security researchers claim that Baidu Apps leak sensitive information online.
The research conducted by security experts, Citizen Lab, at the University of Toronto state that millions of people could have been affected by everything from their search terms and visited sites to the unique ID numbers of their devices online. The risk comes from a software development kit that people can use to make apps for Android phones and even programs for your windows PC’s. Citizen Lab reported their findings to Baidu back in November and report that some of the bugs have been fixed, with poor encryption still putting people’s data at risk.
With digital security being a big issue these days and large companies being found short on both their knowledge in the area and their responses to threats, Baidu have at least started to fix the problems and Citizen Lab have proven that with a little help we can get somewhere closer to being able to protect our information.